In Martin Scorsese’s latest film, The Irishman, Robert DeNiro plays Frank Sheeran, a truck driver turned mob hit man. Over the course of several years Frank becomes deeply involved with crime boss Russell Bufalino (Joe Pesci) as well as Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino), the infamous leader of the Brotherhood of Teamsters. These relationships shape Frank’s life in both promising and harmful ways.
Here’s the thing, I enjoyed this film. Visually and stylistically it’s fantastic. That’s no surprise when you consider the director. The talent on-camera is equally amazing. It’s a who’s who of iconic Oscar-winning actors. And surely this film will pick up a lot of awards. Now, do I ever need to watch it again? Nope. For one, there’s the excessive 3.5 hour runtime. Thankfully Netflix made this movie because I can’t imagine watching it in the theater. They could have stopped at 2.5, may 3 hours tops. It’s a lot of movie. That doesn’t make it the most exciting though. A bunch of things happen and plot points are explored, but I wasn’t riveted by all of it and a few times I was actually bored. There’s also the feeling that you’ve seen this all before. A mob story that takes place in the past, directed by Scorsese, and starring DeNiro, Pacino, and Pesci. Sound familiar? It’s like a greatest hits album.
In any event, I’d recommend seeing The Irishman. It’s an impressive film. But be prepared for its bloated, déjà vu inducing qualities.